MARRI delivered a tailored online training on the use of the Regional Remote Interpretation Service (RRIS) for staff of the Asylum Department at the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia. This was the last RRIS training for MARRI Participant asylum department employees which had to be delivered online due to COVID-19 containment measures. RRIS has been launched since September 2019, and is now available for use in all MARRI Participants.
Through interactive practical exercises, the attending asylum officials learned how to use the RRIS interpreter-scheduling platform to request an extra-regional language interpreter from another MARRI Participant, and to approve an asylum interview location at their premises when another MARRI Participant requests an interpreter from Serbia. They were also familiarised with Microsoft Teams, as a videoconferencing platform used for remote communication.
RRIS is an innovative, reliable and sustainable interpreter-scheduling solution for extra-regional languages rarely spoken by migrants in the Western Balkans. Initiated in light of the 2015-2016 migration crisis, RRIS was fully developed by IOM within the EU-funded IPA II project ‘Regional Support to Protection-Sensitive Migration Management in the Western Balkans and Turkey’.
RRIS consists of a pool of 30 vetted extra-regional language interpreters (nominated by MARRI Participants), and a user-friendly web-based interpreter-scheduling platform. In its current form, the Service is most easily accessible by asylum departments as it offers a possibility to schedule an interpreter in advance. In view of the increased need for remote interpretation due to teleworking and social distancing arrangements, MARRI is planning to expand the use of RRIS to other migration-related procedures and to make the Service available to other migration management authorities who can benefit from advance interpreter scheduling.